ON TYRANNY: TWENTY LESSONS FROM THE TWENTIETH CENTURY
- This event has passed.
ON TYRANNY: TWENTY LESSONS FROM THE TWENTIETH CENTURY
19th October 2017 @ 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
In the twentieth century, European democracies collapsed into fascism, Nazism and communism. These were movements in which a leader or a party claimed to give voice to the people, promised to protect them from global existential threats, and rejected reason in favour of myth. European history shows us that societies can break, democracies can fall, ethics can collapse, and ordinary people can find themselves in unimaginable circumstances. History can familiarise, and it can warn. Today, we are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to totalitarianism in the twentieth century. But when the political order seems imperilled, our advantage is that we can learn from their experience to resist the advance of tyranny.
The Henry Jackson Society is delighted to invite you to an event with Professor Timothy Snyder author of On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century. Professor Snyder will explore the darkest hours of the twentieth century and discuss how we can learn from past experiences in order to provide hope for the future.
Copies of On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century will be available to purchase on the day.
Professor Timothy Snyder is one of the leading American historians and public intellectuals. He is the Richard C. Levin Professor of History at Yale University and a permanent fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna. Snyder received his doctorate from the University of Oxford in 1997, where he was a British Marshall Scholar. Before joining the faculty at Yale in 2001, he held fellowships in Paris, Vienna, and Warsaw, and an Academy Scholarship at Harvard. Snyder speaks five and reads ten European languages and among his publications are six single-authored award-winning books. He has received state orders from Estonia, Lithuania, and Poland. Snyder is a member of the Committee on Conscience of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, is the faculty adviser for the Fortunoff Collection of Holocaust Testimonies at Yale, and sits on the advisory councils of the Yivo Institute for Jewish Research and other organisations.
On 19 October 2017, the Henry Jackson Society (HJS) hosted the renowned American historian Timothy Snyder — the Richard C. Levin Professor of History at Yale University, and a permanent fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna — who discussed his new book On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century.
Hosted by Timothy Stafford of HJS, Professor Snyder emphasised the West grew complacent after the Cold War because of the choice to propitiate the end of history narrative. According to Snyder, this development was metaphysically lazy, failing to account for the arcs and flows of history (as well as the structural underpinning forces) which periodically deliver surprise shocks to the system. And, the end of history was itself historical, reflecting a choice to be ignorant of past precedent. In consequence, the West disarmed itself to dangers and threats, notably: jihadist Islam; a recrudescent fascism in Europe; Iraqi aggression under the insane dictatorship of Saddam Hussein; the Great Recession; and, democratic backsliding as a tide of ethnic authoritarianism hijacked populist tumult in reaction to these issues.
“History does not repeat, but it does instruct.” Snyder insists that learning from the experiences of those in the twentieth century arms modern society with twenty key lessons with which to resist the advent of tyranny; summarily:
- Do not obey in advance;
- Defend institutions;
- Beware the one-party state;
- Take responsibility for the face of the world;
- Remember professional ethics;
- Be wary of paramilitaries;
- Be reflective if you must be armed;
- Stand out;
- Be kind to our language;
- Believe in truth;
- Make eye contact and small talk;
- Practice corporeal politics;
- Establish a private life;
- Contribute to good causes;
- Learn from peers in other countries;
- Listen for dangerous words;
- Be calm when the unthinkable arrives;
- Be a patriot;
- Be as courageous as you can.
The Afghanistan War has now lasted for 17 years, and estimates suggest has cost the US government upwards of $750 … Continued
The Middle East remains one of the most tumultuous regions in the world today, with its many ethnic and religious … Continued
The past 18 months have seen an immense amount of economic, diplomatic, and even military activity relating to the Korean … Continued
As one of al-Qaeda's most respected bomb-makers, Aimen Dean rubbed shoulders with the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks and swore … Continued
The most dangerous threat we face today is no longer military, but rather the increasingly pervasive exposure of our personal … Continued
SPEAKER: Professor Carl Minzner, author, End of an Era China’s reform era is ending. Core factors that characterised its political stability, … Continued
SPEAKERS: His Excellency Renato Carlos Sersale di Cerisano - The Argentine Ambassador to the United Kingdom; Dr. Shimon Samuels - … Continued
SPEAKERS: Dr Michael Green - Author of By More Than Providence and Senior Vice President for Asia and Japan Chair … Continued
In the midst of some great changes in the international system, countries have been left with the qaundry of how … Continued
SPEAKER: Eliot Higgins, Founder of Bellingcat The destruction of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in July 2014 shocked the … Continued
SPEAKERS: Humphrey Hawksley, author of Asian Waters: The Struggle Over the Asia-Pacific and the Strategy of Chinese Expansion ; Bill Hayton, Associate Fellow … Continued
PROFESSOR NIGEL BIGGAR, Regius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology, Oxford University, in conversation with Douglas Murray The nation-state is … Continued
SPEAKER: EHUD OLMERT, former Prime Minister of Israel It’s been 10 years since the last meaningful peace deal was put … Continued
Whatever one’s feelings toward the outcome of the 2016 US elections, there can be no doubting the historic impact and … Continued
As Britain considers its relationship with Europe, European security has never been more precarious, with Russian revanchism on the rise … Continued
As the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, geopolitics is returning to the European continent. Germany and France are squabbling … Continued